Women Are More Than Scenery Here

Dear Popped Black Woman Blog Community,

So I had a great new post for the Ask a Popped Brotha series to post today but after speaking with Brotha Aaron about the feedback from his introduction post, we both have decided to hold off on future posts featuring him. My reasons are not because his feature didn’t get a great amount of views because it surely did, mostly from his large Facebook network. I couldn’t pinpoint my problem with the post and the feedback right away, then it came to me when someone that knew both of us shared the article to their network, but only referenced him even though they knew it was my blog. You may say, “Carla, you need to check your ego,” but I don’t know if it was just my ego that was bruised.

The problem is similar to how he and I would get asked different questions at certain social events with people who have more “traditional” perspectives (if that’s the right way to put it). Even when we were both working full time jobs, he would get asked how work was going. I would get asked the blanket question “how’s it going” or something related to my daughter.

The problem is similar to being ignored when discussing current events, while he is implored to give his opinions. And if I do give an opinion, it is answered with only a nod because women are only supposed to talk about kids, shopping, or TV.

You may say, “Carla, you need to change your circle honey” and I completely agree. But, that’s a different issue for a different blog post. Since this blog was formed to empower women of color and give them a space to be celebrated outside of the male gaze, I desire to keep it that way. At this point having a man give weekly financial advice, even if it’s great advice from a great man, doesn’t fit with what I hope to accomplish here at the moment. I hope to have a space where women are not defined only in terms of a man (even if the very name “wo-man” does this *laughs*). I hope to have a place where women’s thoughts, feelings, and dreams are put on a pedestal and not trampled on the floor. This is a place where a man’s stamp of approval is not needed to succeed. Not to say that the Ask a Popped Brotha series would have taken away from those things, but it just doesn’t feel like the right time for it when the blog is so young and impressionable 😉

I have something special for you all coming up really soon and I’m excited to share it. What is it? You’ll just have to be patient and find out. Stay tuned. And keep encouraging each other to be positively optimistic and powerful.

With love,
Popped Black Woman Blog 😉

Ask A Popped Brotha: An Intro

Welcome to the introductory post for the Ask a Popped Brotha series of the Popped Black Woman Blog. I’m excited to introduce you all to a man that I look up to a great deal who happens to be my husband and the father of my 1 year old daughter, Mr. Aaron Miles aka Brotha Aaron. We’ve been talking for a while about a way to share his financial advice with the world since he has lots of great advice to share. We figured this would be a great start. Without further ado, I’ll let him introduce himself.

Popped Black Woman Blog: Could you introduce yourself?

Brotha Aaron: My name is Aaron Miles and I majored in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I’m focused on two asset classes, which are real estate and private equity. I love studying and investing!

Brotha Aaron with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley circa April 2009 at a UIC function

Brotha Aaron with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley circa April 2009 at a UIC function

PBWB: That’s great! Now, can you give a little info about your background and how you became interested in finance and entrepreneurship?

BA: It started when I was little growing up. I started a lawn care business when I was a 9 years old. I felt a rush and thrill with the thought of being able to empower myself by being a business owner. I remember one snowy day when I made $100 at the age of ten. I was sold! I am extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and its importance in our economy. Every product and service we do on a daily basis started out as a simple idea or dream. That is simple human ingenuity at it finest.

PBWB: Really inspiring! So why do you think financial literacy is important, especially for black women?

BA: To be frank, financial literacy is the new civil rights movement. We live in an ever-increasing class-based society in which economics is equally as divisive as race. It is important for black women to have knowledge of financial literacy. It is no different than your health, spirituality, and relationship. Often times is correlates to all of the above. Sometimes when I am at church, I wonder how many people pray for more money, but I challenge people to ask God or whoever you believe in to [help you] become better stewards [of your money].

PBWB: Amen Brotha Aaron. What do you believe is the economic state of the majority of black Americans today? How can we make it better?

BA: Sad. Our demographics consumed over 507 billion dollars in 2014. However, we are probably recipients of less than 3% of that consumption. We need to transition from a consumer-based society to producers/owners. The honest truth is I think we are worse off than we were 40 years. We have taken a step back in fundamental value in terms of home ownership and living debt free. We have positioned ourselves to live above our means, [while] renting and driving expensive cars. Not to mention [we are] saddled with student loans. It is a recipe for destruction. We need to start with financial literacy being a requirement in every classroom specifically in the black community. We need to stop chasing the Joneses and stop financing it with loans. We need to start eating mash instead [of] filet mignot and start paying with cash. It is the only way…

Brotha Aaron tearing it up at our wedding in Jan 2013

Brotha Aaron tearing it up at our wedding in Jan 2013

PBWB: This is really good stuff. Leave us with some of your favorite financial gurus so that our readers can do a little research on their own.

BA: Dave Ramsey, Robert Kyoski, Susan Orman, Jim Cramer, Larry Kudlow

Thanks so much for coming on board to spit some knowledge to the PBWB community. If any of you have general financial questions for Brotha Aaron, please email those questions to poppedblackwomanblog@gmail.com. Stay tuned for more positively optimistic and powerful info from Brotha Aaron each week 😉